MinnPost editor hijacks BrauBlog to make a plea for micro-sponsors

Have you noticed that BrauBlog has never been interrupted by a message asking you for donations?

Until today.

I’m Joel Kramer, CEO and Editor of MinnPost.com, and I have a proposition for you: Become a micro-sponsor of BrauBlog.

And if you do it now — or in the next 90 days — your micro-sponsorship will trigger a matching donation.

Here’s why: 

MinnPost is a national leader in building a new economic model for high-quality local journalism on the Internet. This is not easy to do. Our traffic is growing dramatically — we’ve tripled our page views in one year — but revenues from sponsors, advertisers, and our nearly 1,300 members currently cover only about 60% of our very lean spending.

One of the ideas floating around for financing journalism is “community-funding” — getting lots of people to donate small amounts to support a writer, a beat, or a specific story project they are interested in.

So we’ve decided to try this concept out with BrauBlog, since it’s our most popular feature on MinnPost, other than the home page itself. This is an experiment. If it works, we’ll brag about it all over the country, and pay some of our bills, too.

Here’s how:

Want to be a LowBrau?  It will cost you only $10. Just click on the LowBrau button (located in the upper right side of this page), and pay online.

Willing to step up and be a HighBrau? Click on that button, and pay $25.

If you are already a member of MinnPost, you are welcome — encouraged — to do this too.

LowBraus and HighBraus will get an automated thank-you, and a warm feeling that you’re doing something about the future of journalism besides just wringing your hands or shaking your head.

You’ll also trigger a matching gift to MinnPost from the Harnisch Foundation in New York, up to a total of $10,000. Ruth Ann Harnisch explains why a person with no Minnesota connections is excited about this experiment.

What you will NOT get is public recognition. LowBraus and HighBraus will remain anonymous, because David Brauer does not want to know which individuals are supporting him. Something about Caesar’s wife. And maybe you don’t want your employer to know you’re supporting him. If you want to brag to your friends that you’re a LowBrau or a HighBrau, feel free. You can even brag to me. But please don’t tell Brauer. (And don’t try to sneak through a comment identifying yourself as a Brau donor.)

By the way, I should add that Brauer finds the terms HighBrau and LowBrau embarrassing, but as I used to tell my kids until they fled the nest, “It’s my job to embarrass you. How am I doing?”

In keeping with our commitment to transparency, we will report in this space how many LowBraus and HighBraus have signed up and how much money we’ve raised. That could either be exhilarating or embarrassing. No guts, no glory.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (21)

  1. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 03/10/2009 - 11:02 am.

    If the editor of City Pages joins the fun, that be a HoffBrau. If I donated, a Moffbrau.

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 03/10/2009 - 11:34 am.

    If a conservative reader tossed cash in, they would be Brau beaten.

  3. Submitted by Sara Fleets on 03/10/2009 - 11:41 am.

    Very clever fundraising tool!

  4. Submitted by Richard Parker on 03/10/2009 - 11:48 am.

    Can my beer-drinking sons-in-law be Lowenbraus?

  5. Submitted by John Olson on 03/10/2009 - 11:55 am.

    And if an opthamologist or optometrist contributed, they would be an EyeBrau.

  6. Submitted by Jeff Goldenberg on 03/10/2009 - 12:06 pm.

    Mr. Kramer:

    Your cute naming of this interesting idea was not embarrassing. What it has spawned, on the other hand, is.

    This would be a good way to bring Britt Robson’s closely followed basketball writing under the MinnPost umbrella too.

  7. Submitted by Aaron Landry on 03/10/2009 - 12:21 pm.

    Don’t taze me, Brau!

  8. Submitted by Susan Herridge on 03/10/2009 - 12:28 pm.

    what a great idea. And you have my permission to occasionally hijack my favorite columns to remind me that we if we don’t care enough to pay, it could all go away. Besides, these comments are hilarious – especially you, Mr. Swift. What on earth would you do if you didn’t have David Brauer to kick around any more?

  9. Submitted by Joel Kramer on 03/10/2009 - 12:38 pm.

    Donations are flowing in; thanks all. A reminder: Don’t try to post a comment that reveals you’re a donor. Brauer reads these comments.

  10. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 03/10/2009 - 12:57 pm.

    My web brauser – er, browser – points to your site nearly every day.

  11. Submitted by Kory Lasker on 03/10/2009 - 12:59 pm.

    Ha! Loved it, Aaron.

    Just don’t call it a BrauMance.

  12. Submitted by Zack Steven on 03/10/2009 - 01:36 pm.

    Brau-vo! An innovative model. Kudos for your guts. Wishing you glory!

  13. Submitted by William Souder on 03/10/2009 - 02:22 pm.

    Would you by any chance consider a donation to STOP Steve Perry’s incessantly morbid economics “analysis?”

  14. Submitted by Brian Simon on 03/10/2009 - 03:20 pm.

    Tom Swift writes
    “If a conservative reader tossed cash in, they would be Brau beaten.”

    That is the best thing I’ve seen you write. Bravo.

  15. Submitted by Michael Mischke on 03/10/2009 - 03:27 pm.

    highbraus or lowbraus, we all browse (braus?).

  16. Submitted by Hannah Hosanna on 03/10/2009 - 03:47 pm.

    Have you thought about contacting Buick? If there’s a Buick Studio for WCCO Radio, surely there can be a Buick something for MinnPost.

  17. Submitted by Ginny Linehan on 03/10/2009 - 03:49 pm.

    Ladies – consider this:
    You can continue to get your Brau facts
    at a price that’s less than a Brau wax.

  18. Submitted by B Maginnis on 03/11/2009 - 08:06 am.

    A lovely lady reader would be a Brau-Frau.

    I notice that, oddly, there are no provisions for Middle Brau.

  19. Submitted by William Wallace on 03/11/2009 - 08:54 am.

    I’d consider it if you disabled the control-freak comment moderation this site has enabled.

  20. Submitted by Karl Pearson-Cater on 03/11/2009 - 03:02 pm.

    I’ve been asked if you get both a HighBrau AND a LowBrau, are you then a UniBrau?

  21. Submitted by Steven Liesch on 03/17/2009 - 02:20 am.

    Perhaps wordplay is the way to raise money.

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